Offering a new spin on a product roadmap by revealing its new products in travel roadmap terms, Airbnb today unveiled its “Roadmap to Bring Magical Travel to Everyone.”
The four-pronged plan includes new property types, new tiers, Airbnb Collections and new community recognition features—adding SuperGuests to SuperHosts—as the key elements of a a product and innovation plan designed “to bring the benefits of local and authentic travel to everyone.”
It’s been an amazing ten years. Airbnb hosts have opened their doors, turned strangers into friends, and invented new ways to welcome the world.
Here's our way of saying thank you. pic.twitter.com/W2AvmLSb2w
— Airbnb (@Airbnb) February 22, 2018
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky unveiled the roadmap in a presentation in San Francisco. The hope is that by upping the customer experience, providing more options and recognizing hosts, guests and properties that go above and beyond, the new features will help Airbnb pass 1 billion annual guests by 2028.
We should now have a home for everyone on Airbnb
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) February 22, 2018
As Chesky outlined in an open letter about the company’s purpose (“Building a 21st Century Company”) last month, his lofty goal (informed by conversations with author Simon Sinek) is that “we should be able to offer more than people sleeping in one another’s homes. We imagine a world where every one of us can belong anywhere. A world where you can go to any community and someone says, ‘Welcome home.’ Where home isn’t just a house, but anywhere you belong. Where every city is a village, every block a community, and every kitchen table a conversation. In this world, we can be anything we want. This is the magical world of Airbnb. We will probably never fully realize this vision, but we will die trying.”
10 years ago, Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia inflated 3 airbeds in their San Francisco apartment and started what has become a global phenomenon in travel. Today, Airbnb is one of the world’s largest accommodation platforms, with 4.5 million places to stay in 81,000 cities. Over the last 10 years, Airbnb hosts earned more than $41bn and guests have checked into an Airbnb more than 300 million times.
As it looks to the next 10 years and the continued success of its host community, Airbnb today unveils a Roadmap for its core Homes business that is designed to bring the transformative benefits of local, personal and authentic travel to every type of traveler. The Roadmap includes:
1) Four new property types – Vacation Home, Unique, B&B and Boutiques (in addition to existing Entire Home, Private Room and Shared Space)
2) New tiers – Airbnb Plus (properties offering a premium customer experience) and Beyond by Airbnb (offering true luxury)
3) Airbnb Collections – Homes arranged in new categories suited to more occasions than ever before, from work getaways to hosting dinner parties.
4) Investing back in its community with a revamped Superhost program and a new guest membership program launching later this year.
Airbnb Co-Founder, CEO and Head of Community, Brian Chesky said, “10 years ago we never dreamed of what Airbnb could become. In fact, people thought the idea that strangers would stay in each other’s homes was crazy. Today, millions of people every night do just that. But we want to go further by supporting and expanding our community so that in 10 years time, more than 1 billion people per year will experience the benefits of magical travel on Airbnb.”
1) New Property Types
The Airbnb Host Community is broad and diverse with more than 4.5 million places to stay around the world. Over the years the types of properties on the platform have become increasingly diverse from treehouses to boutique hotels but it’s still only possible to navigate by 3 property types – Shared Space, Private Room and Entire Home. This makes it hard for hosts to stand out and guests can’t always find what they’re looking for.
To address this, Airbnb will add 4 new property types to its platform: Vacation Home, Unique Space, B&B and Boutique. This will give greater choice of accommodation options to guests, provide greater transparency over the types of accommodation available, and help hosts better showcase what’s unique about them to better match with guests’ preferences. From today, Airbnb is making tools available to hosts to categorize their listings to an unprecedented level of detail in the travel industry, not only making it possible to organize everything by these 7 core property types, but also opening the door to sophisticated search capabilities that will allow any traveler to find the host and home that’s right for them. All 7 property types will launch to guests this summer.
2) New Tiers:
Airbnb Plus: To broaden the appeal of Airbnb to even more guests, and to recognize hosts who go above and beyond to provide outstanding hospitality, Airbnb is today launching a new tier of homes on Airbnb that have been personally verified for quality and comfort.
In the first hour since we launched Airbnb Plus there were 1,000 host applications just in our 13 launch markets. We will be expanding quickly
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) February 22, 2018
Starting with 2,000 homes in 13 cities available to book right now, Airbnb Plus is intended for guests looking for beautiful homes, exceptional hosts and added peace of mind. Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design. Airbnb Plus hosts benefit from top placement, in-home services such as design consultation and expert photography, and premium support.
To help hosts add personality to their homes to qualify as Airbnb Plus properties, Airbnb even released some decorating tips today:
Beyond by Airbnb: Following last year’s acquisition of Luxury Retreats, Airbnb today previews a new standard in travel – Beyond by Airbnb. Launching this Spring, Beyond by Airbnb will offer custom designed trips of a lifetime, including the world’s finest homes, custom experiences and world-class hospitality.
3) Airbnb Collections
Airbnb was initially designed mainly for solo travel but over the years, millions of people have found the platform suited to a range of different types of travel, whether that be families who want extra space and a place to cook, to adventurers who are looking for somewhere to stay off the beaten track. To meet the needs of such a diverse range of travelers, Airbnb is launching Collections – perfect homes for every occasion. Launching today are Airbnb for Family and Airbnb for Work with Collections for Social stays, Weddings, Honeymoons, Group getaways and Dinner parties coming later this year.
4) Recognition – Investing in the Airbnb Community
Hosts and guests are the heart of Airbnb. Through its Superhost program, which now includes 400,000 hosts globally, Airbnb already recognizes its most loved hosts. Today it announces an expansion of the program to offer 14 new and updated benefits including better exposure, custom URLs and exclusive benefits on smart home products. Visit airbnb.com/superhost to see the full range of benefits.
Later this year, Airbnb will also recognize its best guests with a new guest membership program offering benefits across the entire trip. Superguest will launch initially to 10,000 guests as a trial this summer before being rolled out to Airbnb’s wider guest community before the end of the year.
Today’s announcement (watch above) is driven by Airbnb’s commitment to be a 21st Century Company that operates in the interests of all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests and communities. That means helping hosts be more successful, bringing belonging to more guests and supporting small businesses in communities such as B&Bs and boutiques that provide local and authentic hospitality. This also includes a continued commitment to partner with authorities around the world on rules that ensure Airbnb strengthens communities.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a global travel community that offers magical end-to-end trips, including where you stay, what you do and the people you meet. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs.
Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace today offers access to millions of places to stay in more than 191 countries, from apartments and villas to castles, treehouses and B&Bs. With Experiences, people can see a different side to a destination through unique, handcrafted activities run by locals, while a partnership with Resy provides access to the best local restaurants in selected countries. All of this is brought together in one easy-to-use and beautifully designed website and app.